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Photoshop Tricks, Part 2

Part 2 covers how to make a photograph look like a painting, create a seamless fractal tiled image, to use Adobe Dimensions with Photoshop, and how to retouch a drop shadow you've added to an image. (From Inside Photoshop CS, Sams, ISBN: 0672326442.)

Author Info:
By: Sams Publishing
Rating: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars / 35
September 15, 2004
  1. · Photoshop Tricks, Part 2
  2. · More Fun with Pseudo-Painting
  3. · The Minimize Command and the Spatter Effect
  4. · Trick 6: Creating Organic-Looking Objects Using Photoshop Filters
  5. · Trick 7: Creating a Bronze Guy
  6. · Trick 8: Creating Images Using Adobe Dimensions with Photoshop CS
  7. · Remove the Background
  8. · Adding Elements to the Composition
  9. · Trick 9: Coping with a Horrific Photo
  10. · Trick 10: Fixing a Chopped-Off Drop Shadow

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Photoshop Tricks, Part 2 - Trick 8: Creating Images Using Adobe Dimensions with Photoshop CS
(Page 6 of 10 )

This trick is for folks who consider themselves to be non-artists and only dabble in Photoshop to color correct stuff. I have news for all of you: Although this next trick requires the purchase of Adobe Dimensions ($149 SMRP), there is not a step in this whole section that cannot be done blindfolded (okay, you can peek a little from beneath the blindfold).

I'm going to teach you simplicity of concept, of evocative colors, and you, too, might want to become a Post Impressionist!

Regardless of your own opinion about your results, little tutorials like these get your hands on a lot of important Photoshop features and encourage you to venture forth with your own implementation of tools with which you are experienced. Simplicity can say as much as intricacy, except simplicity is easier to create!

Doling Out the Goods from Dimensions

To me, Adobe Dimensions, which has not been updated since 1997, is sort of a wonderful utility. The program doesn't have a fraction of the modeling realism or power of, say, Maya; but then again, it costs about as much as a traffic fine, and what it does, it does excellently. Dimensions is particularly adept at plastic 3D-extruded text, by the way.

Okay, the first step is to make a weird squiggle in dimensions using the same Pen tools you find in Photoshop. What does the squiggle represent? It represents half a vase shape (see Figure 24.44).


Figure 24.44 This pathetic doodle is actually the makings of a vase.

In Figure 24.45, you can see that if you mirror the doodle, it indeed begins to look like a vase. And the image to the right shows that if a 2D path is swept by an infinite number of points, it becomes a 3D vase.

I hope it's obvious that you will participate in this adventure; we simply need to address how to use Dimensions first. The completed vase image, vase.tif, is on the companion CD.


Figure 24.45 You can easily visualize a path swept around a central vertical line becoming a vase if you have the right visualization tools!

Okay, so in Dimensions, after you've used the Revolve palette to make a vase out of the path, you can use any color you like on the vase. I used sand brown in this example. But wait, this gets better: You can select any facet of the vase with the Direct Selection tool and either color the facet or add a pattern. You can't see color in Figure 24.46, but I've made the top of the vase's body a rusty red. The body is now selected, and I'm using the Map Artwork command, which is quite a novel feature.

In Figure 24.47, you can see how Dimensions presents a facet pattern in a workspace away from the 3D image. Areas that are invisible in your current view of the vase are grayed out. All I'm doing here is making doodles and coloring them in. When I'm done, I choose Exit, and the shapes become decals on the sand brown vase.


Figure 24.46 Dimensions sort of irons out a 3D facet into a pattern to which you can then map artwork.


Figure 24.47 So far, has there been anything you can't draw?

After selecting the neck of the vase, I made one more trip to the Map Artwork zone. I used Sympols, a font I created that is included on the companion CD. After exiting the zone, I'm back to a handsomely adorned vase. See Figure 24.48 for the (undemanding) application of a Sympols font character to the neck of the vase.


Figure 24.48 Again, I am totally confident that you can do this sort of stuff with just the little information I'm sharing here.

Back in 3D mode, I want to export a bitmap (raster) version of the vase, so I chose Dimensions. And here's a secret: There's a programming error in Dimensions. Any value to which you want to export (in pixels), you must multiply by 125% because Dimensions does not export specified sizes accurately (see Figure 24.49).


Figure 24.49 Export the vase to bitmap format (.bmp or .tif will do). It will render to a solid white background.

Okay, now it's your turn to put in some pixel-pushing and imitate the broad color fields and exotic tone of Gaugin's work!

This chapter is from Inside Photoshop CS, by Gary Bouton (Sams, 2004, ISBN: 0672326442). Check it out at your favorite bookstore today.

Buy this book now.

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